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Alternate Assessment Bibliography

by DB-LINK on Feb 1, 2013
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This is a partial list of materials on this topic available from the NCDB Catalog Database.  If you have additional questions, please contact us via email:

Updated 2/2013


Accessing the General Education Curriculum San Diego, CA: NTAC. Conference proceedings on "Accessing The General Education Curriculum", San Diego, CA February 12-13, 2001. (2001)This is a collection of handouts and worksheets presented at the National Technical Assistance Consortium (NTAC) "Accessing the General Education Curriculum" conference in San Diego, CA from February 12-13, 2001. The two presenters, Mike Burdge, University of Kentucky, and Dr. Kathy Gee of St. Mary's College present information on planning for instruction in an inclusive educational setting. Assessment, alternative assessment, access to general education curriculum, and effective practices in inclusive schools are discussed in detail.

2010-0008 Alternate Assessments Based on Alternate Achievement Standards: Policy, Practice, and Potential --Schaferm, William D. (Ed.); Lissitz, Rober W. (Ed.) Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. (2009)This book is divided into three sections. The first describes the current knowledge base for alternate assessment including the background out of which alternate assessments grew, the history of the effort thus far, and insights drawn from the experience. It includes a chapter describing the characteristics of children who participate in alternate assessments. The second section highlights several state systems that represent a variety of ways that states have responded to the challenge of developing and documenting alternate assessments. In the third section, prominent authors contribute their thoughts regarding the most salient issues for theoreticians and practitioners to keep in mind as the move forward in their alternate assessment work.


Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities: An Educator's Guide --Kleinert, Harold L.; Kearns, Jacqui Farmer. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. (2010)This book is about alternate assessment based on alternate-achievement standards (AA-AAS) and the implications on teaching and learning of these assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities. It is designed primarily for special and general educators and related service personnel. Section I presents an overview of key principles and the fundamental dimensions that must be addressed in the development and implementation of AA-AAS. Section II covers teaching and assessing students with significant cognitive disabilities for each of the major academic content areas--reading, math, science, and social studies and the arts. Section III expands the discussion of academic achievement to include the importance of embedding life skills instruction and self-determination within the context of instruction and assessment; how student teams can align IEPs with grade-level content standards; and a review of alternate assessment research. The book includes contributions from a variety of authors in addition to the main authors.


Alternate Assessments : Lessons Learned and Roads To Be Taken --Kleinert, Harold L.; Haig, John; Kearns, Jacqui Farmer; Kennedy, Sarah. EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN, vol. 67, #1, Fall 2000, pp. 51-66. (2000)The focus of this article is how two states have addressed a set of seven essential questions in developing their alternate assessment methods for students with disabilities who cannot be included within regular state and local district educational assessment and accountability measures. Discusses why they chose the specific formats, and standards for testing. Reviews implementation of the system and the intended and unintended consequences that have resulted from these decisions. A set of recommendations are provided for states and practitioners to consider in developing alternate assessments to meet the requirements of IDEA 1997.


Alternate Portfolio: What It Means For Your Child and How You Can Help KENTUCKY DEAFBLIND NEWS, vol. 2, #1, Spring 2000, pp. 3-4. (2000)This article looks at the alternate portfolio concept in Kentucky. The alternate portfolio was developed to include students with moderate to severe disabilities in the states portfolio assessment process. The article reviews what an alternate portfolio is, what goes into it, how it is scored and what is done with the score.

2009-0284 An Analysis of the Learning Characteristics of Students Taking Alternate Assessments Based on Alternate Achievement Standards --Towels-Reeves, Elizabeth; Kearns, Jacqueline; Kleinert, Harold; Kleinert, Jane. THE JOURNAL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION, vol. 42, #4, February 2009, pp.241-254. (2009)This study examined the learner characteristics of students in alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards in three geographically and demographically different states. On the basis of the results, it can be argued that students in alternate assessments fall into at least two distinct subgroups. The first set of learners have either symbolic or emerging symbolic levels of communication, evidence social engagement, and possess at least some level of functional reading and math skills. The second set of students have not yet acquired formal, symbolic communication systems; may not initiate, maintain, or respond to social interactions consistently; and have no awareness of print, Braille, or numbers. The authors provide implications and considerations of the findings of the Learner Characteristics Inventory for states and practitioners in developing alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards.


Are We Leaving Our Children Behind?: State Deaf-Blind Coordinators' Perceptions of Large-Scale Assessment --Towles-Reeves, Elizabeth; Kampfer-Bohach, Stephanie; Garrett, Brent; Kearns, Jacqueline F.; Grisham-Brown, Jennifer. JOURNAL OF DISABILITY POLICY STUDIES, vol. 17, #1, pp. 40-48. (2006)Researchers surveyed 52 deaf-blind project coordinators to gain an understanding of their knowledge and involvement with their state's large-scale assessment systems in regard to students with deaf-blindness. Findings revealed (a) uncertainty regarding how well students with deaf-blindness fare in large-scale assessment systems, and (b) that deaf-blind coordinators have had minimal opportunity to utilize their expertise in the development and implementation of state general and alternate large-scale assessments. If the NCLB Act (2002) is to achieve its policy goal of improving the academic performance of all students, greater attention must be paid to subgroups of students, such as those with deaf-blindness.


Assessment and IDEA Compliance: Tips to Meet Goals and Requirements THE SPECIAL EDUCATOR BONUS REPORT, November 3, 2000, pp. 1-4. (2000)This bonus report edition looks at the alternate assessment process in Ohio, and how this model has worked together with special education teachers to implement the new program. Guidelines for determining if high stake accommodations are necessary and appropriate are provided. Technology in use to facilitate alternate assessments is reviewed.


Follow the Child: Approaches to assessing young children with deaf-blindness --Brown, David. Austin, TX: Texas Deafblind Project. 2005 Texas Symposium on Deafblindness. (2005)List of references and websites


Including Students with Deaf-Blindness in Large Scale Assessment Systems --Farmer-Kearns, Jacqui; Grisham-Brown, Jennifer. (2)This is a copy of the set of overheads used in a presentation on including students with deaf-blindness in large scale assessment systems. Describes rationale for conducting research, instruments used in this study, participants in the study. Reviews instructional congruencies and discrepancies, and additional instructional issues.


National Survey of Accommodations and Alternate Assessments for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in the United States --Cawthon, Stephanie W. JOURNAL OF DEAF STUDIES AND DEAF EDUCATION, vol. 11, #3, Summer 2006, pp.337-359. (2006)This paper reports the results of the National Survey of Accommodations and Alternate Assessments for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the United States. This study focused on the use of accommodations and alternate assessments in statewide assessments used with students who are deaf and hard of hearing. A total of 258 participants responded to the survey, including 32 representing schools for the deaf, 168 from districtwide/school programs, and 58 from mainstreamed settings. These schools and programs served a total of nearly 12,000 students who are deaf or hard of hearing nationwide. The most prevalent accommodations used in 2003-2004 statewide standardized assessments in mathematics and reading were extended time, an interpreter for directions, and a separate room for test administration. Read aloud and signed question-response accommodations were often prevalent, used more often for mathematics than in reading assessments. Participants from mainstreamed settings reported a more frequent use of accommodations than those in schools for the deaf or district/wide school programs. In contrast, the deaf were most likely to have students participate in alternate assessments. The top three alternate assessment formats used across all settings were out-of-level testing, work samples, and portfolios.


Regular Education Push Can Reduce Assessment, High Stakes Strain THE SPECIAL EDUCATOR, vol. 15, #17, April 7, 2000, pp. 1, 6-7. (2000)This article discusses the challenges that schools are facing in determining whether or not a student should be a part of an alternative assessment, which may jeopardize their track for a regular diploma. It discusses practical measures you can take to prepare for accurate assessment in your program. It discusses accommodations for the alternative assessment, and gives information on developing alternative assessments.


Relation of a Statewide Alternate Assessment for Students with Severe Disabilities to Other Measures of Instructional Effectiveness --Turner, Matthew D.; Baldwin, Leigh; Kleinert, Harold L.; Kearns, Jacqueline Farmer. Lexington, Kentucky: THE JOURNAL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION, vol. 34, #2, 2000, pp. 69-76. (2000)This article is based on a study that investigated the extent to which scores in Kentucky's statewide alternate assessment program for students with disabilities correlated with measures of program quality and overall school effectiveness. Overall program quality and Individualized Education Program (IEP) quality were correlated with the students' alternate assessment scores. Results indicated a significant relationship between overall program quality and the resulting Alternate Portfolio scores, but not between assessment scores and IEP quality.


A Review of Biobehavioral State Assessment of Individuals with Profound Disabilities --Richards, Stephen B.; Taylor, Ronald L. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 2005, 30 (4) 5-14. (2005)Assessment of individuals with profound disabilities is problematic, particularly when traditional approaches are used. As a result, alternate assessments have been attempted that better suit the needs of these students. One approach that has shown some promise is biobehavioral state assessment. Initially used with infants without disabilities, this technique involves measuring overt behaviors and psychologic indices. Its modification and use with students with profound disabilities has potential educational implications because it allows for determining the interaction between behavioral state and environmental variables. This article provides a review of the literature on biobehavioral state assessment of infants as well as adaptations of this procedure for students with profound disabilities.


Striking a Balance Between IDEA and NCLB for Students with Significant Disabilities: Techniques and Tools for Aligning Standards-Based Instruction, Alternate Assessments and IEPs --Saranthy, Padmaja. Horsham, PA: LRP Publications. (2008)This book is intended for administrators and teachers involved in educational planning and instructional programming for students with significant cognitive disabilities. It includes sections on the following topics: legal issues and compliance with the law relating to alternate assessment and accessing the general curriculum; transforming instruction to promote access to the general curriculum; and techniques, tools, and technology to support learners.


Testing Deaf Students in an Age of Accountability --Johnson, Robert C. (Ed.); Mitchell, Ross E. (Ed.) Washington D.C.: Gallaudet Press. (2008) The first part of this book addresses a variety of assessment and testing issues for deaf students including the following: accountability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and No Child Left Behind, a review of research on academic achievement, accommodations to improve instruction and assessment, universal design of large-scale assessment tools, alternate assessment, and integrating schools for the deaf into state-wide accountability frameworks. The second part is a series of case studies on the inclusion of deaf students in statewide assessments in selected states (South Carolina, North Carolina, Illinois, Delaware, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and California). Publisher's web site:


Under the Magnifying Glass: PHASES INDIANA DEAFBLIND SERVICES PROJECT, vol. 13, #1, Fall 2001, pp. 1-15. (2001)This article describes Psychologists Helping to Assess Students' Educational Strengths (PHASES). It describes some problems in traditional psychological evaluations for deafblind students, and provides suggestions for administering alternate assessments that focus on practical skills and areas of strength. It provides a complete description of PHASES as designed in Indiana.


The Use of Accommodations Among Students with Deafblindness in Large-Scale Assessment Systems --Horvath, Leah S.; Kampfer-Bohach, Stephanie; Kearns, Jacqueline Farmer. JOURNAL OF DISABILITY POLICY STUDIES, vol 16, #3, pp. 177-187. (2005)This study attempted to describe the use of accommodations among students with deaf-blindness, both in the general curriculum and during state wide assessments. An accommodation provides a change in the way a test is administered without altering the content of the test. Accommodations are designed to maximize a student's performance in order to obtain an accurate picture of his or her true capabilities. Nine students from three southeastern states were included in the study. The three major findings to emerge were that (a) students were provided accommodations that were not specifically tailored to their needs; (b) self-determination among students with deaf-blindness was not actively observed in the classroom; and (c) there was a lack of congruence among accommodations used in class, during assessment, and among those documented on the IEP or 504 plan.


Use of Tests When Making High-Stakes Decisions for Students: A Resource Guide for Educators and Policymakers --U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education. (2000)This guide provides important information about the professional standards relating to the use of tests for high-stakes purposes, the relevant federal laws that apply to such practices, and references that can help shape educationally sound and legally sufficient testing practices. Information about professionally recognized test measurement principles and the legal framework regarding the use of such tests is provided. The guide also includes a collection of resources related to test measurement and nondiscrimination principles in an effort to help policymakers and educators ensure that decisions made from test results are made fairly and accurately. This guide is intended to apply to standardized tests that are used in high-stakes decision making affecting individual students.


Validation Study of the Performance Indicators and Learner Outcomes of Kentucky's Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Disabilities --Kleinert, Harold L.; Kearns, Jacqui Farmer. The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps. JASH, vol. 24, #2, 1999, pp. 100-110. (1999)The purpose of this study was to conduct an expert validation of Kentucky's alternate assessment for students with significant disabilities. Since 1992, this has been the only fully operational, statewide alternate assessment system in the nation. The study revealed a high degree of professional congruence on the core of best practices embodied in the performance criteria for the alternate assessment. However, concerns about the extent to which more limited learner outcomes had been identified for students with significant disabilities, and whether the alternate assessment was sufficiently aligned to the general curricular expectations for all students were raised. Information on how Kentucky has more clearly addressed the relationship of its alternate assessment to the state's learning outcomes for all students in discussed.


Virginia's Alternate Assessment Process: Abstracted From an Article by the Alternate Assessment Project at VIDD THE PEATC PRESS, Winter 1999 p. 7. (1999)A synopsis of the changes the state of Virginia will be undergoing in order to come into compliance with the 1997 amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that state that students with disabilities must be included in state and district-wide assessment programs with appropriate accommodations and modifications in administration, if necessary. Describes who will participate in the new alternate assessments, how it will be practiced, and the next steps and questions to be answered. Additional information can be obtained from the Alternate Assessment Project, Virginia Institute for Developmental Disabilities at VCU, (804) 828-3718.


What Does it Mean for Students with Disabilities? --Guy, Barbara; Moses, Judith A. Minneapolis: National Transition Network. PARENT BRIEF, September 1999, pp. 1-5. (1999)The purpose of this Parent Brief is to: 1) Provide parents with information about changes in assessments and graduation criteria, and 2) assist parents in investigating the changes happening in their districts and states. Standardized assessments must now include ALL students with and without disabilities. It describes the reasons behind this change as well as how students with disabilities will participate. Includes sample questions for parents to ask when planning their children's educational programs.  

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